Glucosamine, an amino derivative of glucose, has been shown for the first time to slow and even stop the progression of debilitating osteoarthritis, according to newly published research.
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of joint disease, affects 85% of American adults over the age of 65 and more than 50 million Americans altogether. While not a normal consequence of aging, osteoarthritis is a frequent accompaniment of aging.
Osteoarthritis chiefly affects weight-bearing joints in areas such as the ankles, knees, hips, and spine, as well as the hands. The goal of treatment is generally the relief of pain and restoration of physical activity, most often achieved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin. Joint replacement has been the treatment of last resort.
Glucosamine is a building block for glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, which are constituents of articular cartilage along with water, cellular elements, and proteins such as collagen, elastin, and fibronectin. Although its mechanism of action is not precisely known, glucosamine is known to be an anti-inflammatory agent. In a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, glucosamine was found to be effective in ameliorating painful symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.1
Newly published research has shown for the first time that glucosamine slows and even stops the progression of osteoarthritis.2 Study participants received 1500 mg per day of glucosamine sulfate (as has long been recommended by Life Extension) for three years and were permitted to use NSAIDs as well. While the group that received placebo experienced a worsening of clinical symptoms, those who received glucosamine reported a significant improvement in symptoms.
—Dean S. Cunningham, MD, PhD